Chapter 366: Soulbeast Ambush
The bestial roar of a soulbeast immediately startled all the humans that heard it.
But were the people here any regular humans?
As soon as their shock subsided, the majority of the people grew excited as their minds came to the same conclusion. While a few looked terrified at the prospect of a soulbeast here, the rest immediately ran in the direction of the roar.
The streets were already filled with people dashing out of their respective stores or restaurants. They all converged together and headed in the same direction. The ones from the guild were already dashing at full speed with soulforce blazing out in brilliant glows to increase their speed.
The people on the streets moved as one to run, jump, and move swiftly with the wind, and in just a few dozen seconds, the people around Bai Yunfei was half of what it was before; with the other half of the people being the ones whose minds hadn't caught up with them.
Wasn't the movement and actions of these people far too uniform!?
Bai Yunfei had nearly thought he was looking at some sort of practice drill.
These first responders were all 'experienced' in events like this. Those who hadn't moved yet were, without a doubt, newcomers to the village since the invasion of a soulbeast was not at all uncommon.
Just what kind of place was this?
It's the Soulbeast Forest. It was only natural for a soulbeast to come out of the Soulbeast Forest. What kind of reality would it be if they stayed in the forest all the time?
Whenever a soulbeast invaded, the first reaction any soul cultivator would have would be fear.
But fear would subside with time, and with time, fear became excitement.
The people here weren't like most soul cultivators. In their eyes, the invasion of a soulbeast wasn't a threat coming to knock at their door, but a nicely wrapped present waiting to be slaughtered.
They were soul cultivators. Soul cultivators that earned yet another moniker as one of the Braves who risked their lives to come to the Soulbeast forest. Would they really be afraid of a soulbeast that came stumbling to their doorstep?
Any soulbeast that attacked this small town weren't normally strong either. Many of them, throughout the history of attacks, had been class five at the strongest.
More importantly, there was an unspoken rule about soulbeast invasions.
Whoever killed the soulbeast that invaded would reap the rewards!
Whenever a soulbeast attacked, it was quickly reduced to a dead ox swarmed by a pack of wolves.
Like vultures to a carcass, the soulbeast would find itself killed and stripped of any valuable parts.
Based off the reactions of the others, Bai Yunfei came to understand that this wasn't a danger he should be worried about. Just as he was thinking to himself whether he should head over to watch, two powerful auras were felt before an accompanying roar was heard. This time, the roar was different than the feral and angry one from before.
It was filled with pain and anguish this time.
"It's over? Already!?" When the soulbeast cried out, Bai Yunfei felt its soulforce blink out of existence. The battle was over, and the soulbeast was killed!
"Late-stage Soul Ancestor!" Bai Yunfei hadn't the time to make a confident observation of how strong the soulbeast was, but judging from the still lingering wisps of soulforce, Bai Yunfei could only assume that it was a late-stage Soul Ancestor in strength.
Unable to hold back his curiosity any longer, Bai Yunfei ran over to the spectacle as well. Running out of the town, he soon came to a place several kilometers to the north were a great deal of people had already gathered in a circle, each person gesticulating to one another at the objects in the middle.
The soulbeast was similar to a water buffalo, but five times bigger and black. The top of its head was a mess with blood pouring out from a hole in it. When Bai Yunfei came a little closer, he saw a man cleave open its head to extract a still bloody orange soulgem.
"Aah, just my luck! The soulgem of a class five stone ox! That'll sell for good money!"
"Ain't that the case, I thought it was just a class four soulbeast at first, not a class five one. How many months has it been since the last one! If I'd known earlier, I'd have run faster..."
"Forget about it. With your strength, you'd probably be unable to even scratch the soulbeast's hide. In fact, I reckon the soulbeast would've killed you with one stomp. In any case, the one who struck first was the captain of the Cutthroat Mercenaries, Wang Kun. You think you could beat those Soul Ancestors? Or even fight them?"
"Tsk, I was only just saying. I'd never dare try to fight captain Wang Kun. That guy's soul armament was crazy enough to split that class five soulbeast's head in two even though they're the same level of strength. Their mercenaries are famous for being frontliners anyway. I'd never dare even annoy them."
Bai Yunfei looked at the man everyone was talking about. He was dressed in gray robes meant for battle. Like his sleeves, his eyebrows were rather short on his stalwart face. The blade in his hand was a blade that looked like it was almost snapped in half. It was as if it had originally been a longsword but had become a 'shortsword' when it snapped at the half point.
A smile was on the man's face when he pulled the soulgem out of the soulbeast's carcass. Hopping down, he said, "The meat of a stone ox is quite the rare delicacy! If no one is in disagreement, then please, let us all feast tonight on its meat!!"
"Oooohhhhh!!!!" Everyone let loose a happy whoop of agreement. Eating its flesh wasn't a half-bad compromise in exchange for not getting the soulgem.
With that, several men came forward with tools in hand. They started to dissect and disassemble the corpse. From how they worked, they were old hands at harvesting soulbeasts.
Since he hadn't witnessed what appeared to be a brilliant fight, Bai Yunfei felt disappointed. Turning around, he and the other non-interested parties went back to the town.
But... of the group that wasn't interested in the feast, three people deviated from their original routes to move slowly behind Bai Yunfei, pretending like they were going back to the same place.
This didn't go unnoticed by Wang Kun, who was cleaning the blood away from his body. Peering at the ones following Bai Yunfei, he narrowed his eyes and spoke a few words to the ones dissecting the body. He then headed for the small town.
In a small and dark alleyway, Bai Yunfei was dusting the dirt off his strawhat while walking. He was just about to leave the alleyway when he came face to face with someone.
"Oh, it's you?" Bai Yunfei remarked upon realizing it was Wang Kun, the one who killed the soulbeast just a few minutes ago.
Surprised for some strange reason, the man replied, "You know me?"
"Haha, I only just watched you kill that class five soulbeast several minutes ago. What a great show of strength."
"Aha, you flatter me too much. I am Wang Kun, might I know your name?"
"Bai Yunfei," Bai Yunfei nodded, "I'm afraid I've some friends to meet with, so I'll be saying goodbye here."
"Ah... alright, be safe then, brother Bai." Wang Kun stood aside to let him pass.
When Bai Yunfei was nearly out of sight, Wang Kun looked at his back with confusion, "So he had friends with him, I had thought he was just a naive kid, but... did those three give up?"
"I could've sworn I saw them follow him into this alley though..." Doubt ran deep in Wang Kun's eyes. Walking a little bit deeper into the alley, he turned a corner and came across the three would-be 'bandits.' They were knocked out on the ground.
Surprised, he turned back to look where Bai Yunfei had gone.
"Haha, I see, so he was hiding his strength? If he can beat three late-stage Soul Sprites so easily, then he's definitely stronger than he appears.
"I shouldn't poke my nose into his business..."